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IP/02/111

Brussels, 22 January 2002

Urban II programme: European Union contributes Euro 10 million to urban regeneration in Stockwell, London

Michel Barnier, Commissioner responsible for regional policy, has announced the approval by the European Commission of a programme for urban regeneration in the Stockwell area of the London borough of Lambeth. This URBAN(1) Community Initiative Programme will provide € 9.98 million from the European Union over the period 2000-2006. The European funding has attracted € 9.98 million of further investment from the public sector, creating total resources of € 19.96 million. Priorities will include training, business' support, environmental protection and various measures to promote the inclusion of disadvantaged groups, particularly into the labour market.

Announcing the decision, Michel BARNIER said: "The URBAN initiative is a creative and innovative approach to urban regeneration. These programmes have a strong "grassroots" emphasis, involving local people at all stages in the decision making process. The Stockwell programme is no exception. It mobilises a strong local partnership and I fully endorse the programme priorities of social inclusion, training, support for business and promotion of sustainable development. I am confident that this programme will make a substantial contribution to urban regeneration in Stockwell."

The programme area covers the two wards of Stockwell and Larkhall (collectively known as Stockwell) in the London Borough of Lambeth with a population of 30,180. Despite proximity to economic opportunities in the centre of London, the area is characterised by high levels of long term unemployment, poverty and crime. This is exacerbated by low skills and a particularly run down environment.

The programme aims to tackle these problems with three main priorities:

  • Developing social capital. Key actions include the promotion of local and community groups as well as the building of community centres. (Community contribution: € 4 million);

  • Enhancing community well-being. Key actions include those promoting social inclusion as well as measures to improve sustainability, e.g. by the "greening" of public space and of transport (Community contribution: € 2.9 million).

  • Supporting employability and local enterprises. Key actions including training and direct support for businesses, especially start-ups (Community contribution: € 2.6 million).

An additional amount of € 0.5 million (Community contribution) will finance technical assistance.

As with all URBAN programmes, this programme will be funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the responsibility of Mr Barnier.

URBAN

The goal of the URBAN Community Initiative is "economic and social regeneration of cities and of neighbourhoods in crisis in order to promote sustainable urban development". The second round of URBAN ("URBAN II") will cover the period 2000-2006, supporting 70 deprived urban areas across the EU. Total funding from the EU alone will be € 728.3 million and this will attract at least as much again in matched funding from both public and private sectors.

The total URBAN allocation for the United Kingdom amounts to € 121.7 million. Programmes have been submitted for West Wrexham, Belfast, Bristol, Burnley, Halifax, Hetton and Murton, Normanton in Derby, Peterborough, Stockwell, Thames Gateway and Clyde Waterfront.

A particular feature of URBAN II is the development of innovative models for urban regeneration. Another feature is a strong emphasis on partnership and on involving local actors. There will also be an exchange of information and experience on sustainable urban development across the European Union.

URBAN II is financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). Funding is available for initiatives such as the renovation of buildings and public spaces, local employment initiatives, the improvement of education and training systems for disadvantaged groups, the development of environmentally friendly public transport systems, the introduction of more efficient energy management systems and the use of renewable energy, developing the potential created by information society technologies.

The Commission adopts programmes which are proposed by a partnership including local and community groups. These programmes run for the whole of the period 2000-2006 and local actors are involved at all stages in this process.

Managing Authority

The Managing Authority is the Department of Transport, Local government and the Regions. Day-to-day management of the Stockwell programme is delegated to:

The Government Office for London

Riverwalk House

157-161 Millbank

London, SW1P 4RR

Phone: (020) 7217 3214

Fax:  (020) 7217 3461

E-mail: pmorrissey.gol@go-regions.gsi.gov.uk

Further information

More detailed information on URBAN II be found in MEMO/01/301 of 25 September 2001 or at the following websites :

European Commission :

http://www.inforegio.ec.europa.eu/wbpro/PRORD/prordc/prordc18_en.htm

Government Office for the South East: http://www.go-se.gov.uk/infor/region.html

(1) See below for a description of URBAN II.


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